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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Franson (R)

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

ST. PAUL, MN -- On Monday, October 2nd, the Minnesota Department of Commerce released final rates for the 2018 individual insurance market, confirming that Republican-led reforms helped reverse the four straight years of double-digit premium increases and helped to expand health care choices to Minnesota families—particularly in rural areas. According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, rates would have risen by 20 percent or higher without Republican reforms. The individual market serves Minnesotans who do not receive health insurance through their employer or the government.

Over the past four years, premium rates increased by double digits every year, including nearly 60 percent just one year ago. As a result of the reinsurance program recently approved by the federal government, all current insurers will continue serving the individual market next year. In addition, Republicans successfully pushed to expand health care options and improve access to hospitals and doctors. As part of the reinsurance legislation, providers are now required to offer in-network access to more than one health care provider system in the counties in which they operate.

“It's unfortunate that it's taken hundreds of millions of your tax dollars to stabilize the individual health insurance market,” said Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria). “These dollars could have been spent towards raising the wages for caretakers who work with home based community services, education, or even putting more money back into your pocket. However, since the federal government hasn't budged on repealing Obamacare, here we are. Much more work needs to be done to have a free market approach to health care and health insurance.”

These reforms were supported by just one Democrat in the Minnesota House. Governor Dayton refused to sign the measure, opting to let it become law without his signature.